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Mum slapped with ‘unfair’ £200 fine over teenage daughter’s seatbelt

Mum slapped with ‘unfair’ £200 fine over teenage daughter’s seatbelt

Louise Hess, a mum from Australia's Gold Coast, was given a hefty fine but disputed it

A mum has been given a £200 fine over her teenage daughter’s seat belt, a decision she has called unfair.

Louise Hess, from the Gold Coast, was given a AU $413 fine after her daughter was caught wearing her seatbelt incorrectly. The mum was given three demerit (penalty) points for 18 months as well as the fine.

The mum fought against the fine and the penalty points, claiming that she could not reasonably be expected to monitor her 14-year-old child’s seat belt while she was driving the car.

Gold Coast mum Louise Hess disputed the fine.

“You check your kids and everyone in the car before you start driving, but I didn’t think I would be expected to constantly watch the position of the strap of a seat belt,” she said per 7News.

“It’s not something you think you need to look at.”

The infringement notice she was given, which was seen by the Australian news publication, shows the seat belt strap under her daughter’s arm instead of over her shoulder as required. She was sitting in the front passenger seat next to her mum.

Louise was issued a fine for ‘driving with unrestrained front seat passenger’, according to the Queensland Department for Transport and Main Roads notice.

“I started fighting it as soon as I got the fine,” she said.

“I’m expected to turn my head and check the position of that shoulder strap — I thought that’s unfair.

“I’m a bit stubborn and I wasn’t going to let them win on this one.

Louise's daughter was wearing her seatbelt incorrectly.

“I’ll pay a fine if I get caught speeding or my dog’s off a lead. Yeah, that’s fair.

“But this isn’t fair.”

The seat belt case was due to be heard in Southport Magistrates Court on Wednesday but the transport department dropped its case on the morning the hearing was scheduled.

Louise won her legal fight against the ‘unfair’ fine however criminal lawyer Bill Potts said that the case doesn’t mean that people should feel like they can go against seat belt rules in Queensland.

In the UK, you must wear a seat belt if one is fitted in the seat you’re using. Only one person can use each seat fitted with a seat belt. You can be fined up to £500 if you do not wear your seat belt when you’re supposed to.

In some situations you do not need to wear a seat belt, such as if you’re a driver who is reversing or supervising a learner driver who is reversing.

Featured Image Credit: 7News

Topics: Australia, News, Parenting